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Credit: Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment

Box office: The House with a Clock in Its Walls casts a spell on top spot with $26.8M

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Sep 23, 2018, 11:06 AM EDT

It looks like The House With a Clock in Its Walls is the only movie with box-office magic this weekend.

According to Variety, the Universal/Amblin production is on course to make around $26.86 million by the end of Sunday from 3,592 domestic sites. During its Friday debut, the film made $7.8 million.

Based on the 1973 book of the same name by John Bellairs, The House With a Clock in Its Walls was adapted by Timeless co-creator Eric Kripke and represents a notable career deviation for director Eli Roth, who is known for gory and hard-to-watch horror projects that earn their hard R ratings and sometimes border on torture porn. This is his first PG-rated movie that channels the wonder and lite scares of early Steven Spielberg films and the Harry Potter franchise.

Owen Vaccaro (Daddy's Home) stars in the main role of Lewis Barnavelt, a young boy, who comes to live with his eccentric uncle (played by Jack Black) in the mid-1950s and learns that he and his uncle are "boy witches." Not only that, but his uncle's house was affixed with a doomsday clock by an evil wizard (Kyle MacLachlan), which will end the world when it stops ticking. With the help of their neighbor, Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett), Lewis and his uncle must prevent such a calamity from happening.

Other genre movies aren't faring so well. For instance, The Predator was knocked all the way down to the fourth spot after leading the box office during its debut last weekend. The fourth Predator (written and directed by Predator alum Shane Black) will only make $8.6 million, for a domestic total of $40.3 million.

The Nun and Purge-esque Assassination Nation (which is produced by the Russo Brothers) aren't doing so hot either. The former made a little over $2 million in Friday receipts, according to Box Office Mojo, but the latter is expected to do around $1 million from 1,403 North American theaters, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

The Nun is an extension of the wider Conjuring universe and has already made over $93 million domestically and over $200 million globally. It will, however, take over the international box office for the third weekend in a row with $35 million from 80 overseas markets, says Variety. That should bring the horror movie's global total to $292.6 million.